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tv   BBC World News America  PBS  October 23, 2017 2:30pm-3:01pm PDT

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>> this is "bbc world news america." funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation, and kovler foundation, pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs. >> planning a vacation escape that is relaxing, inviting, and exciting is a lot easier than you think. you can find it here in aruba. families, couples, and friends can all find their escape on the island with warm, sunny days, cooling trade winds, and the crystal blue caribbean sea.
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nonstop flights are available from most major airports. more information for your vacation planning is available at >> and now, "bbc world news." laura: this is "bbc world news america." reporting from washington, i am laura trevelyan. the widow of a fallen soldier and president trump continue to give conflicting accounts of a condolence call. a former defense secretary gives his take. mr. panetta: all it does is it lowers the office of the presidency. laura: the number of rohingya refugees fleeing myanmar could soon topped one million. neighboring bangladesh struggles with the influx. and could the city that never sleeps thbe getting weary?
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new york city appoints a mayor of the night to give it a boost. welcome to our viewers on public television in america and around the globe. the public spat between the white house and the widow of a fallen soldier has taken another turn. la david johnson was one of 4 u.s. troops killed on duty in niger. today his wife spoke out, asking why she has not been able to see her husband's body and calling for answers about what happened to him. late today, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff reporters on what we know so far, but it is the condolence call between president trump and mrs. johnson which continues to spark controversy. north america editor jon sopel reports. johnsongeant la david
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was laid to rest over the weekend, but there is no resting in peace. instead, there is sound and fury. his widow, myeshia johnson, has spoken for the first time about the now infamous call from president trump. >> the president said he knew what he signed up for, but it hurts anyway. and it made me cry, because i was very angry at the tone in his voice and how he said it. he couldn't remember my husband's name. the she also revealed that u.s. military refused to let her see her husband's body. >> i don't know nothing. they won't show me a finger. i know my husband's body from head to toe, and they won't let me see anything. i don't know what is in that box. it could be anything, for all i know. but i need to see my husband. jon: the phone call from donald trump came last week as the johnson family waited and miami
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airport to receive his body. but after myeshia johnson's interview today, the president treated within an hour to challenge her account. "i had a very respectful conversation with the widow of sergeant la david johnson and spoke his name from beginning without hesitation." been hopinguse had that the focus relentlessly this week would be on tax reform and in no other distraction, but the president felt he had to respond to the fallen soldier's widow. it seems this is a president who prefers an i-4 and i and a tooth tooth-- eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth that he does turning the other cheek. the president has been presiding over a ceremony giving a vietnam war veteran's medal of honor, even though donald trump like many wealthy young men avoide d the draft itself. america's wars, and how it treats its families, a source of conflict and then, source of conflict today.
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jon sopel, bbc news, washington. this afternoon, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, general joseph dunford, briefed reporters, and set a full investigation still needs to be conducted, but he gave this account. general dunford: three u.s. soldiers killed in action were evacuated on the evening of october 4, and that that time, sergeant la david johnson was still missing. on the sixth of october, sergeant johnson's body was found and subsequently evacuated. from the time the firefight was initiated to when the sergeants body was recovered, french, nigerien, and u.s. forces remained in the area. laura: short time ago, i discussed the firestorm with former secretary of defense and one-time white house chief of staff leon panetta. after a weeklong dispute, president trump is directly contradicting the widow of a fallen soldier. what is your reaction to this?
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mr. panetta: i think he would be better off just dropping it, rather than continuing to feud with the widow. my god, he doesn't need to do that. frankly, all of this is taking the focus away from the brave and courageous men and women in uniform that do serve abroad and fight and sometimes die in service of their country, and also the families that make the most terrible sacrifice you can make. that is where the focus ought to be, and this whole event has taken it away from that, into and to the politics of the moment. laura: as a former white house chief of staff as well as former defense secretary, isn't this the kind of thing you would want to avoid, a standoff with a grieving widow? mr. panetta: it makes no sense to get into this tit-for-tat,
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and all it does is lowers the office of the presidency, when you engage in this kind of attack on a widow. i mean, she is 24 years old. she has just lost her husband and her life. because of that, it just would be better for the country and for the presidency that he could just simply move on and deal with the issues that might take the lives of other americans in battle. laura: what this has done also is highlight the role of the u.s. troops in niger. over the weekend, it was surprising to learn that 2 u.s. senators did not know we have 1000 troops in niger. what is the national security interest there? mr. panetta: when you look at the fight against isis and the fact that isis and al qaeda have
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metastasized into boko haram and al-shabaab, you are looking at not only the middle east, but north africa, where there is a terrorism threat. and what we have is basically deployed special forces to those areas to do training and advising of the forces within those countries, in order to give them the capability to go after those terrorist groups in the country. laura: but is there a risk of the u.s. expanding its role without proper scrutiny of what is happening in west africa? mr. panetta: well, there is no question that obviously congress should be aware of where we have deployed these forces, and i'm a little surprised that two senators did not know the numbers of people that are there. but clearly the congress is aware of the fact that we have special forces located in a number of countries, and they
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are doing training and advising. but again, this is dangerous territory, and they do need good intelligence. they do need to have backup capabilities in order to be able to evacuate troops if they are hit. and thirdly, i think they need u.s. air power. i know they have french airpower, but the problem with the french airpower is that it couldn't even use explosives -- laura: no, exactly. if we could turn to north korea, a subject you have written about for many years, the president is heading to the region next month and we have a former cia director putting the risk of military conflict between 20 and 25%. what do you make of those odds? mr. panetta: well, i wouldn't get into the odds-making business, because it is hard to tell what exactly is the
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situation and how dangerous it may or may not be. i do think that because of the exchange of rhetoric between president trump and kim jong-un that it has increased the tensions in the region, and there is no question that the danger of a miscalculation or of a mistake could very well produce a larger conflict. but i think the key right now is to do everything possible to tighten the noose on north korea through containment and deterrence, increasing our military presence, increasing our navy presence, providing a very tight missile shield, and increasing sanctions on north korea and trying to get china to enforce those sanctions so that it can impact on their economy.
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i think the reason iran came to the table is because there was a uniform effort by many countries to put sanctions on iran and enforce them. we need to do the same thing on north korea. laura: but on iran, as you know, the president has decertified that deal and kicked it over to congress, but our european allies are urging us to stay in it. how damaging is this to the u.s. standing with its allies? mr. panetta: well, i regret what the president did, and i will tell you why. what gives the united states its credibility in the world? it is the word of the president of the united states, and whether or not the president stands by those words. we gave our word working with our allies that we would enforce the agreement. and yes, there are a lot of concerns about the agreement -- should it have covered other areas, why didn't it? but the fact is, it is an agreement that is working to prevent iran from developing a nuclear weapon. and because it does involve iran, and because they are
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complying, i think it would've been far better for the president to say, we will continue to enforce the agreement, and we will work with our allies to try to get iran to address these other concerns. that would have been, i think, the better approach. laura: leon panetta, thank you so much for joining us. mr. panetta: good to be with you. laura: the number of rohingya refugees who fled violence in myanmar and gone to neighboring bangladesh could top one million. officials in bangladesh is a the situation could become untenable, and they are calling for the refugees to return home under safe conditions. myanmar has been accused of ethnic cleansing, leading to fears that the refugees could spend decades in limbo. this report now from a camp in bangladesh. reporter: for rohingya muslims who have escaped myanmar, neighboring bangladesh is a land of second chances. these refugees part of a huge
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influx we saw across the border , queuing for their supplies. with the pink ration cards, they are dependent on the kindness of strangers. it can be a long, tiring wait in the clammy, humid air. best do what you can to make things a little bearable. these rohingyas are the latest in a long line of victims of a sectarian and religious conflict that stretches back many decades. this is a crisis that has been going on a long, long time. you guys must be feeding people who have been through this across the border many, many years ago. >> that is true. we have been feeding here for 25 years. you can see this in the camps. at the bottom of the camp, refugees from 25 years ago. move upwards, 10 years ago. one year ago. now you see who arrived yesterday. it's incredible. reporter: for the refugees, this
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might be the land of second chances, but it seems that one rohingya's luck ran out. we found him in the arms of his sister on the side of the road, limp and lifeless, acutely malnourished. we alerted unicef. after several days, he is back from the brink. he was terribly sick with fever and diarrhea. it was a close call. so the doctors say he was malnourished, still is malnourished, but he is taking in food, which means that hopefully, a few days, maybe a couple of weeks, he should be eating normally. and fingers crossed, gaining weight. but will he and his big sister ever see the land of their birth again? just how long is this exile for the hundreds of thousands here? the future of the refugees is being discussed at the highest levels between the bangladesh and myanmar governments.
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could the rohingyas one day return home and these camps close? no one is holding their breath. at the u.n. general is ugly, -- general assembly, bangladesh's prime minister made it clear where she thinks the blame for the crisis lies. >> these forcibly displaced people are fleeing ethnic cleansing in their own country, where they have been living for centuries. reporter: it is a charge myanmar strongly denies, blaming rohingya insurgents for attacks on civilians. the funeral procession makes its way through a rohingya refugee camp. he was 75, and never saw muslim and buddhist reconcile in his homeland. a younger generation may one day see this happen, but for now, many rohingya will live and die on foreign soil.
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who arehe rohingya persecuted and stateless. in other news from around the world, authorities in catalonia say they will not join the government if madrid moves to take control of the region, after prime minister mariano rajoy set out plans to set the region's government. earlier today catalan ministers embarked for crisis talks in barcelona. china's environment minister has urged people to be patient when it comes to improving the country's air quality. china has been cracking down on big industrial polluters, trying to reduce the damage caused by three decades of growth. the minister insisted that the campaign against pollution has not cost jobs or hurt the economy. you are watching "bbc world news america." still to come on tonight's
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program committees enough being done to address child marriage -- on tonight's program, is enough being done to address child marriage? a global issue that is a big problem in the united states. floor plans can be affected by carbon dioxide emissions, which can make the ocean more acidic. the eight-year study for more than 250 scientists found that while there is likely to be an impact on all see life from infancy creatures could be particularly vulnerable. they say that the oceans are a quarter more acidic now than at the start of the industrial revolution. here is the effect of carbon dioxide on seawater. these bubbles contain natural co2 from an underwater volcano in papua new guinea. few sea creatures can live here, because the co2 has made it nearby water more acidic. , andaway from those vents
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what a difference. the sea chemistry returns to normal, and wonderful marine life can thrive. but industrial societies churning out -- industrial society is churning out co2 on a massive scale, and the gases are being absorbed into seawater around the world, making it all more acidic. today's report once a major impacts on sea life full death warns of major in -- today's report once of major impacts on to life. acidity is increasing, and it is not just having an impact on ecology, but it will have an impact on us as humans further down the line. reporter: take one fish we love to eat, cod. the research shows that they be caught our sensitive to more acidic water. are sensitiveod to more acidic water. if co2 levels rise as expected, we will see only a quarter as
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much cod indices. the report ones that all see life will be affected by the disruption of the food web in the seas. laura: across the world, children get married all too frequently, so much so that ending the practice is a goal of the united nations. but the problem isn't confined to developing countries. it is even happening right here in the united states. half of all u.s. states don't have a minimum age for getting married. every year it is thought that thousands of girls, some not even teenagers, get married, usually to older men. aleem maqbool has the story. aleem: what happened to her here in america may seem unexpected. she feels her childhood was torn away from her. at the age of just 13, she says her mother forced her into a marriage.
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>> i would love to go back to school. aleem: after years of feeling there was no way out, she finally escaped, and is speaking out about her child marriage for the first time. >> i was a slave to the idea that my mother wanted, to all be together and for me to have kids so young, and to do all that, i have this emotional baggage of wanting to have done something with my life by now. but i haven't been able to, because i was taking care of kids. i think about what i could have done or could have been. aleem: angel's marriage fits an international pattern of child brides being far more likely not to get an education and to face violent abuse. we might be talking about angel's story here in rural idaho, but this is a national problem, because children are
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permitted to marry across this country, with some states having no minimum average age at all. -- minimum marriage age at all. >> we extrapolate from the data and estimate that in all 50 states, including those that don't track the data, approximately a quarter of a million children married in america between 2000 and 2010, and if we look at the data, we know that this is overwhelmingly girls to adult men. >> hi, how are you? aleem: sherry johnson is trying to convince politicians in her home state of florida to change the laws that allowed her to be forced to marry at the age of just 11. >> i got married to my rapist, the guy that raped me. for me to marry him and make the situation of me getting pregnant, i can say to make it look better overall. and so versus putting the
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handcuffs on him, at 20 years of age, they put the handcuffs on me at 11. aleem: for many, it is shocking to see those numbers in black and white on an american marriage certificate. shocking still to know that in much of the country, there is nothing to stop it happening again today. aleem maqbool, bbc news. laura: well, that disturbing report is the first in a series aleem is doing on issues you might not associate with united states. most of you are familiar with the mayor of a city, but what a night mayor? it sounds unusual, but in the city that never sleeps, someone will hold that official title. new york is appointing the first director of the office of nightlife, in charge of promoting the city's night scene. reporter: it is the city that
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never sleeps. on the surface, nightlife in new york looks vibrant, but to cite just one statistic, smaller live music venues have declined by more than 20% over the last 15 years. the new night mayor's main challenge, to promote nightlife business community in a city that feels under siege. the driving force behind the creation of the new night mayor position. >> that is the goal of the office, to make sure that the city's nightlife have an advocate where businesses feel they have a voice and are not being preyed upon by the city and communities. the industry is responsible for creating over 600,000 jobs across the entire city, and over $10 billion industry. reporter: the night mayor will try to lessen what critics say is stifling overregulation of nightlife businesses by government agencies. but creating a city-appointed official to promote and protect nightlife means the new
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night mayor will have to work hard to win trust. >> i like the idea of an official promoting my life, but i don't like the idea of the government appointing someone to do so. whenever the new york city government has intervened in night life, it has been negative. in the 1990's, mayor rudy giuliani decimated nightlife, went against the as if it were the devil, forgetting that nightlife is a huge part of the quality of life in new york. reporter: so the new york nightlife scene has made its concerns known. it won't let this new office of nightlife off the hook. but this town hall meeting shows what the new night mayor could do and what the priorities should be. rachel nelson owns three nightlife venues in brooklyn. >> we need the night mayor to be our advocate and show what we valuable both economically and socially and
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culturally, and the night mayor is the only one who can be the person. reporter: and the city councilman hopes the night mayor will ease pressure on the many small do-it-yourself music venues, as they are called. >> i feel those spaces are theonsible for creating most important values the city has had in the past 10 years, creating the spaces that attract here andple who move helped bolster the economy. reporter: whoever is appointed to this addition, there is the bonus of the job name. being the night mayor of new york has cachet. an alternative title is director of office of nightlife, which don.he acronym night mayor it probably will be. laura: quite the job.
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remember, you can find much more on that and all the day's news on our website. to see what we are working on at any time, be sure to check out our facebook page. i am laura trevelyan. thanks for watching "bbc world news america." >> with the bbc news app, our vertical videos are designed to work around your lifestyle, so you can swipe your way through the news of the day and stay up to date with the latest headlines you can trust. download now from selected app stores. >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation, and kovler foundation, pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs. >> planning a vacation escape that is relaxing, inviting, and exciting is a lot easier than you think. you can find it here in aruba. families, couples, and friends can all find their escape on the island with warm, sunny days,
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cooling trade winds, and the crystal blue caribbean sea. nonstop flights are available from most major airports. more information for your vacation planning is available at >> "bbc world news" was presented by kcet, los angeles.
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captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight... >> we owe the american people an explanation of what their men and women were doing. >> woodruff: the chairman of the joint chefs addresses the questions still surrounding the ambush in niger that killed four americans. then, it's politics monday-- we talk president trump's dispute with the widow of one of the slain soldiers and if his recent comments on 401 k's could derail tax reform. and, against the odds-- a photographer follows the emotional journey of one couple struggling to start a family after debilitating war wounds and expensive fertility treatment. >> there's always this "if you're falling down, i will pick you up."


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